Challenging indoorization in Italian rock climbing (2019)

The study focused on rock climbing in Italy and was based on 40 interviews. Participants included both indoor facilities suppliers and rock climbers. Data analysis identified three themes: nature as an outdoor environment; naturalness as a matter of the emotions and sensations involved; and naturalness as a wild lifestyle. Results revealed that climbing and nature remain closely connected. However, practitioners evoke nature not only as a specific context for their practice (nature as an outdoor environment), but as a more general frame recalling the idea of naturalness, defining distinctive lifestyles and movements. Findings also revealed that reference to nature is still a relevant dimension in the way Italian climbers define themselves and authenticate their practice. In conclusion, rock climbing in Italy has problematized the impact of indoorization on climbing as a practice, showing that, at least in the Italian context, the reference to naturalness is still a core dimension of the hot authentication of rock climbing. The naturalness of climbing also resides in the kind of emotions and sensations involved in the practice.


Camoletto, R. F., & Marcelli, D. (2019). Keeping it natural? Challenging indoorization in Italian rock climbing, Annals of Leisure Research.

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